Photography // Zhavia Ward – press.
Words by Pankhuri Bhutani.
Honing her musical creativity perfectly from a tender age, her music compels you to simply just immerse yourself in the music and disconnect from the current harsh realities of the world. Zhavia Ward is an unforgettable force to be reckoned with, with her sights firmly set on turning the industry on its head.
Merely at the age of 20, Zhavia has amassed over four hundred million streams on her music videos and have successfully collaborated with multiple music icons, some of them including, Zayn Malik, Diplo, Lil Pump and French Montana. Zhavia Ward is no doubt a kaleidoscope of talent. Be it sensational singing, penning down absolute gems, possessing a phenomenal sense of style and beauty or interacting with her fans to her heart’s content, she bends the style and boundaries of music, centering her creativity and passion all around it.
“Big Girl$ Don’t Cry” is another heartfelt track that does not disappoint. The song epitomizes an empowering vibe that we all can cling on to as we are facing this unfortunate pandemic. An animated music video released alongside the track which showcased the song through a story telling narrative was definitely a cherry on top. The music video delivered a raw and stunning visual that blended with the mood of the song perfectly. The animated music video combined with Zhavia’s instantly recognizable, unique vocals topped off with her inspiring lyrics resulted in a track that screamed success.
We recently caught up with the young sensation to talk about how she’s dealing with the current pandemic, the creative process behind her latest track and some significant insights into her music journey overall.
Hi there Zhavia. Lovely to have you on Peachy! How are you doing? How is 2021 treating you?
Hey thanks for having me on Peachy, I’m doing great! 2021 has been productive so far. I got to put out a new song called “Big Girl$ Don’t Cry” as I continue to write my album.
How are you coping up with the pandemic? Is there anything that you are currently doing in order to maintain your creativity?
The pandemic has caused a lot of distance between people but I feel like I am used to keeping to myself. I don’t really have a lot of friends so it’s not really much of a difference for me. I’m always minding my business and focusing on work because that’s how I enjoy spending my time. When I’m not working, I’m relaxing at home with my boyfriend. To stay in my creative process, I’ve been doing a lot of writing and recording sessions some from home which is cool. I’ve also been working with a lot of new producers and a new executive producer on my album, which has been helpful.
You recently released your new single “Big Girl$ Don’t Cry”. Major congratulations on that! How has the response been like on the track so far?
Thank you ! I think the response has been great because a lot of people can relate and the feedback has been “I needed this” or “this came out at the perfect time” which means a lot to me. That’s the reason why I do music to comfort people and encourage them, it makes it all worth it. A lot of people are going through pain and hurt and I’m honored that my song can make them feel a little better.
Kindly walk us through the creative process of the song. Did your initial visualization of the track match up with the final outcome?
“Big Girl$ Don’t Cry” feels like a very complete storyline lyrically. I have a big imagination so I love lyrics you can visualize and tells a story. Writing this song was different because of the pandemic so we all worked on the song from different places, which I’ve never done before. Sending over ideas instead of writing in the same room was a big change for me. I got to collaborate with some amazing award-winning writers and 2 of them are women, which was exciting because I’ve only collaborated with 2 other female writers in my career. “Big Girl$ Don’t Cry” is about having the ultimate confidence in yourself, knowing that you don’t need anyone else to be happy or feel complete. We wanted to encourage people that it’s okay to walk away from situations that are not good for you anymore and I think we did a great job doing that. It was very authentic having the perspective of female writers since the song is written from my perspective.
You also dropped a phenomenal animated music video for the track! How did you react when you first saw the video?
I had the cover art idea before the song came about. Luckily the song was a great fit for this idea and we translated the anime style into the video as well. Because of the pandemic I didn’t really want to shoot a live video with me in it so I felt like this was a great time to make the animated video come to life. I found a great animator named Tristan Zammit and told him what I had visualized for the storyline, the scenery, and costume design. He did an amazing job fulfilling what I had pictured and capturing that fantasy element that was really important to me.
You have gained such a massive fanbase over the past few years. Do you think that having such an enormous support adds a sort of pressure to your tracks or is it something that you perceive as a personal motivation?
I don’t feel a pressure from my fans when it comes to my music. They encourage me to make music that feels authentic to me and I know that if I love it, they will too. They want to hear what I have to say and support that. My motivation is sharing my story and having a connection with people, which comes naturally with music.
What’s the one thing that your fans should definitely know about you personally which they might not get to know listening solely to your music?
I think my fans should know that I am passionate about the people who listen to my music. One of my favorite things about doing music is touring and getting to meet and see my fans in person!
Having collaborated with some immensely talented music icons like Diplo and Zayn Malik, is there anyone else on your radar who you would love to collaborate with in the future?
I’ve had the honor to collaborate with some amazing people. An artist I would love to collaborate with would be Jhene Aiko. I love her vibe and she’s a Pisces just like me. She such a genuine soul and you can feel that in her music.
Lastly, have you set yourself any goals for 2021? Is there anything on your bucket list that you really want to achieve by the end of this year?
One of the main goals that I would like to achieve by the end of the year is finishing my album that I love. That’s really all I’m really focusing on at the moment. I’m excited for people to hear what I have been putting all my time and passion into. It will be amazing!